Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present

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Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.2 X 9.4 inches | 1.6 pounds
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About the Author

Steven Lubar, a former museum curator and director, is Professor of American Studies at Brown University.


Steven Lubar has written a wonderfully comprehensive and intriguing assessment of the impact and importance of museums by unearthing both the history of these cultural institutions and the contemporary challenges that face the field. Featuring an insider's knowledge and a scholar's curiosity, Inside the Lost Museum is a must-read for those who want to understand how museums shape America's memories and its national identity.--Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution
Inside the Lost Museum ably demonstrates that Steven Lubar is among the most perceptive historians thinking and writing about the American museum today. Equipped with intimate knowledge from years at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Lubar connects the history of early museums to what currently transpires behind the scenes, as staff debate ideas for exhibitions, wrestle with ethical dilemmas, and attempt to foster greater public participation than ever before.--Kym Rice, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, George Washington University
In this volume, Steven Lubar, among the most thoughtful scholars and professionals in the field, turns 'museum' into a verb, taking us behind the scenes to show how collecting, exhibiting, and programming are conceived and organized. His clear, straightforward, and insightful account provides case studies as well as a larger framework for understanding museological practices, choices, historical trends, controversies, and possible futures. The treatment of art, science, and history museums and occupational roles from director and curator to exhibition designer and educator make this required reading for everyone in the museum field.--Richard Kurin, Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research, Smithsonian Institution
Inside the Lost Museum is a book worth wandering through, much like the capacious institutions whose histories and futures it contemplates...[A]thoughtful and feeling survey of changing practices of curation in American museums of all sorts.--Christopher H. Heaney"Journal of Social History" (12/14/2017)
Offers illuminating chapters on key curatorial questions about museum life...Lubar's highly accessible book sits comfortably on museum-studies shelves alongside such works as Stephen Weil's Making Museums Matter, Nina Simon's The Participatory Museum, and Adrian George's The Curator's Handbook...It could be of practical interest to people who participate in any organization, large or small, devoted to preserving or displaying art or artifacts.--Amy Henderson"Weekly Standard" (11/03/2017)
Gives readers a privileged peek into the storerooms, boardrooms, and curatorial offices of many storied institutions. In doing so, the book offers a scholarly snapshot of the role that museums have played throughout history, as well as the challenges they face today. Although students and interested laymen will undoubtedly gain much from Lubar's comprehensive overview, even the most experienced museum professionals will likely learn a thing or two.-- (08/18/2017)